Oversight and Community Engagement
The Gauteng Department of Community Safety’s needs to adopt a sense of urgency in its implementation of oversight and community engagement programmes before another year of missed targets and deadlines passes by.
This week the Department tabled a third quarterly report littered with failed programme outcomes and under-expenditure before the Gauteng Legislature, illustrating MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane’s poor grasp of Gauteng’s security concerns and her complete lack of leadership skills.
Despite the MEC’s undertakings, the department’s accruals still amount to over R87 million, and continues to default on Premier David Makhura’s promises to pay service providers within 30 days.
Portfolio Committee and the Civilian Secretariat
To date, the critically important Civilian Secretariat has still not been established. The secretariat is responsible for monitoring the SAPS to ensure that policing is carried out in line with existing policing strategies, and monitoring of the police budget.
The Secretariat is also tasked with monitoring all Metro Police departments within the Province and ensuring that they function within the parameters of their mandate and legislation.
Due to the absence of the Secretariat, the department is only able to monitor a mere 10% of the provincial SAPS budget. The department has advised the Portfolio Committee that the Civilian Secretariat will only be appointed by the end of April.
Community Policing Forums
The division responsible for crime prevention and community policing relationships is yet to award contracts for the training of patrollers and Community Policing Forums, and has failed to do so for more than two years. This is yet another critical aspect of policing in the province, as both patrollers and CPFs act as direct link between police and the public.
If the MEC was indeed serious about improving relations between police and communities, she should crack the whip in these under-performing departments and ensure that the necessary steps are taken to rectify this major shortcoming.
Furthermore, the MEC should extend her commitment to a safer Gauteng by paying closer attention to traffic management and road safety, and to insist upon more traffic officials on duty after hours and on weekends to conduct aggressive road safety operations. Simply claiming budget shortfalls and ignoring the gap in traffic law enforcement will not make our roads safer.
The DA will continue to exercise intensive oversight over this department and the MEC to ensure a safer environment for the citizens of Gauteng.
Michele Clarke MPL
DA Spokesperson on Community Safety
060 558 8309